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We’ve spent a lot of time covering how much you can make working as a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft. But if you do not own a car, you may be quick to assume that there is no way for you to drive. However, thanks to the Fair App, this is not the case. In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about the Fair App, a car subscription service.
- What Is the Fair App?
- How Does the Fair App Work?
- How Much Does Fair App Cost?
- How to Sign Up and Get Started
- Why Sign Up for the Fair App?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Fair App?
The Fair App is a tool that allows you to pay monthly for the vehicle of your choice. The app takes a unique approach to leasing a vehicle — it gives you a month-to-month car subscription. Unlike a standard car lease, there is no long-term commitment involved. Users are free to cancel and renew the subscription whenever they like.
Scott Painter, the company co-founder, told CNBC in 2018, “What we’re doing is giving mobility without going into debt with a car loan. Americans are already at a place where we understand that we pay for what we want to use.”
The Fair App recently underwent a relaunch. The company has been around since 2016 but has been floundering the past few years. A new management team took over at the end of January 2020. However, the subscription-based model and the fundamentals of the company remain the same.
How Does the Fair App Work?
The Fair App‘s subscription-based model works by allowing users to make monthly payments on a used car with the ability to cancel anytime. The cars that you have access to are lightly used. Fair offers both cars and trucks. Fair does not offer new cars.
Users start by putting down a “start payment,” which is a fancy way of saying “down payment.” The initial start payment is $1,000, although you may have to pay more if you’d like to rent a premium model. The start payment on a premium model can run as high as $3,000.
After making the start payment, you’ll need to make monthly payments to keep the car. You can keep the vehicle as long or as short as you’d like. You can also swap vehicles, although you’ll need to pay another start payment each time you do so.
So, in a nutshell, Fair is more like car leasing instead of car ownership. With car ownership, you will eventually get to keep the car after paying off the loan, which typically takes five to six years.
With car leasing, you don’t own the vehicle, although you are bound to pre-defined terms. For instance, your lease terms may run 36 months, which means you are required to make payments each month for this length of time if you don’t want to face stiff penalties.
Fair allows you to lease without the obligation of pre-defined lease terms. Your monthly fee is also bundled, meaning that you only need to make one payment instead of multiple. For instance, in addition to the used vehicle, your Fair app also grants you access to:
- A limited warranty
- Routine maintenance coverage
- Roadside assistance
- Optional insurance
When you select a car, Fair buys it from the dealership. This takes the haggling out of your hands so that you don’t have to worry about it. All you need to do is sign up, pick up your car, and get on the road.
How Much Does Fair App Cost?
Every car on Fair App has a “start payment” fee. This is an upfront fee that you have to pay before you can access the car and drive it off the lot.
The start payment fee varies depending on the type of car you choose. This upfront fee ranges from as little as $500 to as high as several thousand dollars, depending on the car make, model, year, and mileage.
In addition to the start payment fee, you’ll also have to pay a monthly fee. The start payment fee, however, ensures that you’ll have the lowest monthly rates possible for the duration of your lease.
Should you decide that you don’t like and don’t want to keep driving your leased vehicle, you have up to 3 days or 100 miles to get your start payment fee back.
Once you’re beyond three days or 100 miles (whichever comes first), the start payment fee becomes non-refundable, and you can never get that back.
Keep that in mind – especially if you lease a car that you’ve never actually driven before.
Every car handles differently. So if you’re not satisfied with your lease, make sure you return it right away before the “No Risk Return” policy runs out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can’t just lease and return cars every other day to keep getting your start payment back. Fair allows only one full refund of a start payment every 12 months.
Whether you return your vehicle within three days or lease it for three years, you’ll need to pay a new start payment fee for every new vehicle that you lease.
How to Sign Up and Get Started
Upon creating your account, you’ll use the app to scan your driver’s license. Fair will then conduct a “soft pull” on your credit report. This should not impact your credit score but allows the company to conduct an informal background check.
If you pass this background check, Fair will then produce a list of cards for which you’re eligible. Your eligibility is based on your credit score. While Fair does not explicitly spell out its eligibility requirements, it’s safe to assume that those with higher credit scores will have a higher monthly payment limit than those with lower scores.
You can then filter available Fair cars by other options, such as whether they are hybrids or SUVs.
Once you select your car and make your start payment, you can pick it up from the dealer. The start payment is refundable for the first three days or 100 miles that the car is in your possession.
Why Sign Up for the Fair App?
The subscription model that the Fair App offers is unique and could be beneficial to Lyft and Uber drivers. If you already drive for one of these ridesharing companies, you may be frustrated racking up miles on your personal vehicle.
And, if you don’t drive for a ridesharing company, one of the downsides may be that you don’t own a vehicle. Or, you may not own a vehicle that meets Uber or Lyft requirements.
If you were to lease cars using the traditional method, you’d be locked into predefined terms. It may not be in your best interest to have to pay for a lease for three years if you’re only working as a rideshare driver to make some money on the side. Plus, many traditional leases come with mileage limits, which could get pricey.
The Fair app, however, allows you to rent from month to month. If you don’t think you’re going to be able to drive for a while, you can cancel the subscription. Plus, the Fair monthly payment includes benefits like maintenance and does not come with any mileage requirements.
You may think that renting a car is unnecessary, but it will make things easier for accounting purposes. If you only use your Fair vehicle for rideshare services, you can deduct it as a tax expense. You’ll only need to keep track of things like your Fair subscription, gas, and car washes instead of having to log how many miles you drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still wondering whether the Fair App is right for you? Consider some of these other questions that people tend to ask about the app.
How much does Fair cost?
The cost of Fair cars can vary. Cars like the Nissan Versa are on the low end of the spectrum, costing $125 a month. Higher-end models, like a McLaren or Tesla, cost around $4,000 per month. Remember that these costs include other benefits like roadside assistance. You can also elect to pay for insurance for an additional fee, depending on which policy you select.
Where does Fair operate?
Since the company underwent its rebranding, it’s expanded to other locations. Available locations include:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Santa Monica
- New York City
When you access Fair, it will pick up your location and let you know whether it’s offering services in your area.
Can I cancel at any time?
Yes, you can cancel your Fair app subscription at any time. You won’t be refunded for the month that you’ve already paid, however. So if you have recently been charged, you may want to wait until the end of the month to cancel.
There is also no obligation or cost with not borrowing a vehicle. Meaning, if you need to take a break for a few months and resume your subscription later in the year, there’s no other financial penalty besides having to make an additional startup payment.
Does the Fair App have a referral program?
Uber drivers aren’t the only ones who can earn incentives by leasing a vehicle with Fair. Any customer that has a current lease can participate in the Fair referral program.
Customers will receive a unique referral code that they can share with friends and family.
If a new customer signs up with your referral code, they can save $100 off their start payment fee. In return, you can earn a $100 Visa gift card.
Unfortunately, this offer has its limitations – you can only earn up to 5 referrals per year for a total of $500 in Visa gift cards. It’s also subject to change at any time.
Use the Fair App and Start Earning Money as a Rideshare Driver
The Fair App exists to change the car-buying experience. Users can make monthly payments to a vehicle without being locked into term lengths. The only real downside is that you will never own the vehicle. But, you have the flexibility to change cars at any time and continually keep a newer car in rotation.
This could be especially beneficial for rideshare drivers. The subscriptions costs are tax-deductible and can prevent you from having to put hundreds of miles on your personal vehicle.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.